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Do you listen to music in stereo mode or extended stereo mode.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by george_k, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. george_k

    george_k Active Member

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    I own a NAD T742 and I find that I like the extended stereo mode for music listening rather than pure 2-channel.

    The extended stereo mode treats front and rear speakers the same so you get enveloped in sound. I'm not sure what other manufacturers call this.

    Which do you prefer?
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

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    I prefer 2ch stereo.
     
  3. Robert AG

    Robert AG Well-Known Member

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    I prefer to listen to the recording as it was originally done. There are a lot of imaging cues in even 2 channel stereo recordings that are obliterated by post processing (no matter who's it is).

    I can see where expanding the sound to the surround speakers when listening to a stereo recording might be preferred by some, but the more subtle qualities of the acoustic soundstage are lost when doing this.

    I'm speaking mostly of acoustic recordings made in natural spaces here - studio recordings of especially rock and synthesizer music don't have natural soundstaging to begin with (it's all created artifically with pan pots and reverb etc.), so anything goes when listening to this type of recording.
     
  4. Brian L

    Brian L Well-Known Member

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    I prefer PL II Music and EARS on my 762, although I do stay with 2CH for some titles.

    BGL
     
  5. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Well-Known Member

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    For serious listening to LPs and CDs, 2 channel mode. When I'm listening to DVD-A, 6 channel. I only use '5 channel stereo' for background music when we have guests or if I'm hosting poker night.
     
  6. Alan Pummill

    Alan Pummill Well-Known Member

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    2-channel stereo, unless DVD-A or SACD.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

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    Even with SACD, I prefer 2ch in most cases (not all), it really depends on how well the multi-channel mix is done.

    PLII, while good at what it does, does not sound better than 2ch to me with music, nor does DTS NEO6
     
  8. Tom Oh

    Tom Oh Well-Known Member

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    I use multi-channel for rock only. Everything else is 2ch with sub off and Mains (MA Silver 7) set to Large.
     
  9. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Well-Known Member

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    I always listen to music in Pure Direct Stereo. While Extended stereo retains the left to right imaging, it loses the front to back imaging. With good stereo recordings I can hear the trumpets behind the violins. When you have sound coming from in front of you and behind you that is impossible.

    If you have your speakers set up well, stereo should be able to fill the entire room. Almost every person that listens to music on my system (in stereo) will fight with me saying that the center speaker is on. They will actually get up and walk over to the center channel and once they put their ear on it and hear nothing they will still argue that it is on. Some people even think the rears are on too. I have such good positioning that it is scary.
     
  10. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Premium
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    Most of the time I use five channel stereo. I don't listen to music with my undivided attention the same way that I watch movies so I'm not as concerned about listening in OAR.
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

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  12. george_k

    george_k Active Member

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    BrianWoerndle,

    Could you be a little more specific about how you've setup your system. If what you say is true then I'd definately like to optimise my setup.
     
  13. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Well-Known Member

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    It is all about placement. There is no specific answer, you just have to try a bunch of different things. A few tips:
    The tweeters should be about ear level. The front speakers need to be far enough apart to get proper seperation, especially if you sit farther back. Toe-in can help, but will decrease the sweet spot. Try a bunch of different things. Unfortunatly, perfect placement can be very elusive, and actually impossible in some rooms. I actually have a second set of speakers (better speakers) in my bedroom, and the do not image as well because I can't get them in the proper placement. They are not bad, but not as good as my HT room. Keep trying different things, and maybe you will find the sweet spot. If not keep using extended surround, there is nothing wrong with that.

    See my website in my sig to see pictures of how mine are setup.
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

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    It's all in the tweaking. You'll know it when you hear it. To me, it should almost sound like you are wearing headphones. As Brian says, it can be difficult and time consuming to get there. Your room and how the speakers react to it are the largest single factor.
     
  15. Robert AG

    Robert AG Well-Known Member

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    I have my room set up in a "live end / dead end" configuration where the area in the front half to 2/3rds of the room is "dead" acoustically, and the rear is "live" with bare hardwood floors and no acoustic treatments except for non-parallel walls (not possible in most rooms). I have found that this opens up the envelopment of regular stereo recordings and provides diffusion of the surrounds for movies.

    This technique was popular in recording studio control room construction, and is still used to some extent. It provides absorbsion of sound in the front so that there are fewer early reflections for good imaging, but the rear of the room is free to provide "bloom" to the sound.
     
  16. ReggieW

    ReggieW Well-Known Member

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    George,

    I have a T762 and almost entirely use two channel stereo for redbook cd's. The only time I use extended stereo or DPL2 is for films and television. Every now and then I will use EARS for a classical or soundtrack recording. This was not always the case though. I owned a Denon 1802 before moving to the T762 and almost used DPL2 exclusively when I listened to redbook CD's, but when I got the NAD, the two-channel performance was on an entirely different level, and I saw how much dynamic its stereo performance was in comparison to the Denon's. This may also be due to the fact that I also upgraded my speakers from the budget JBL N-series to the PSB Stratus line. However, I do like discrete multi-channel recordings (most of them) on DVD-A and SACD.

    Reg
     
  17. agendrano

    agendrano Member

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    I usually listen to 2ch even on SACD and DVD-A, except for some titles that I like in multi-channel (such as Riding with the King in DVD-A and some classical titles in DVD-A).

    I find the 2ch better especially if I move a lot around my living room (with multi-channel, I need to stay in a particular spot for all the channel to be well-balanced).
     
  18. Scott_N

    Scott_N Well-Known Member

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    I listen to music in my 2-channel system not my HT system so it's stereo only for me.
     
  19. John S

    John S Well-Known Member

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    I use the 7 channel stereo mode on my Denon 4802, pure direct would be better with the correct speakers no doubt, but 2 JBL s38's cannot keep up with an 800 watt sub... lol I have to cross em at 120hz or they break up a tad at movie theater volume levels, so using the sub on audio is a must for me.

    I have actually come to like the way the sound stage is pulled every so slightly forward by the center channel in the 7 channel stereo mode. I run in A+B mode and use 6 surrounds, 2 fronts, a center, and sub in my config, and man when all those 125watt amps are kicking with that sub, it is impressive even with the bargain speaker setup, all are matched JBL s38's a tad old, but I love their sound in general.
     
  20. Bill_D

    Bill_D Well-Known Member

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    Logic 7 and then 2 channel but never 5/7 channel stereo.
     

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